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MFA in Creative Writing

MFA Affordability and Funding

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid


Tuition for the MFA in Creative Writing at Butler University is set at $895.00 per credit hour for the 2021-2022 school year. Allowing for small annual increases in tuition, a student entering the program in Fall 2021 should expect tuition and fees for the degree to total roughly $32,000. A quick glance at the tuition costs for other MFAs shows that Butler is an extraordinary value, especially when one considers the high quality of our faculty and visitors, our small class sizes, and our auxiliary programming. 

More information about tuition, billing, and payment at the Student Accounts webpage


The MFA at Butler offers considerable funding to its students through a growing system of scholarships tied to service and professional development. 


Efroymson Scholarships (2 per year): The Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, sponsors the Efroymson Scholarships in Creative Writing. These scholarships are awarded to two out-of-state applicants who show great promise. The scholarship awards $5,000 per year for two years.

Ruth Lilly Service Scholarship: Sponsored by the Writing in the Schools program, which is funded in part by the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation. This scholarship awards applicants with a proven record of community service and funds their continued service work through the MFA’s affiliate programs. The Service Scholar will enroll in EN455s, “Writing in the Schools,” in fall semester of her or his first year and will continue with an independent service project in the spring. The scholarship awards $3,000 per year for the first year, with the potential for additional funding and service opportunities during the student's second and third years in the program.


A variety of funding opportunities are available, some directly from the MFA program and many through our affiliate programs.

Booth Editors and Design Assistants

Section Editors (hired by application): Three positions, one each in Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction. Editors manage the workflow of submissions to Booth. They assign work to their respective staffs, send out rejection letters, work toward a 60-day turnaround on all submissions, push the best work monthly to roundtable discussion, and take an active role in facilitating conversation at the roundtable meetings. Editor pay is on a sliding scale based on volume of work, between $1,000- $2,000.  Section Editors must have previous experience as a Booth reader, so new students are not eligible. 


Writing In The Schools

Graduate Assistants (GAs) for EN 455-S, Writing In The Schools (1–3 per year): Assume a leadership role for on-site activities at Broad Ripple Magnet School, where the community-service course is based. GAs work with the WITS director to develop learning modules for an in-school literacy tutoring program at Shortridge IBA School for students who have yet to pass their End of Course Assessments. Additionally, GAs help run the after-school creative writing group and assist in the publication of a literary journal of Shortridge student work, both online and in print.  GAs are paid between $1,200- $2,000 per semester. The WITS director hires GAs, and preference is given to students who have taken EN455-S or have previous WITS volunteer experience.


Bridge Program

Mentors (4 per year): Bridge Mentors work at our Writing Club, which meets once a month. Each mentor is responsible for planning and teaching creative writing lesson plans for an assigned age group (elementary, middle school, or high school). One floating mentor assists where needed. Writing Club serves local students grades 3–12. Mentors are paid $50 per session of Writing Club and are hired by the Bridge Program Coordinator, with preference given to students with previous teaching experience and/or demonstrated skill working with children.

Teachers (varies by need): Bridge Teachers lead a one-time workshop for the Bridge audience. Workshops are two hours long and teach students about a topic of craft. Teaching positions are filled through a call out and proposal process and are paid half the profits generated from registration, at a minimum of $100. MFAs with previous teaching experience are preferred.


Teaching Fellows

Teaching Fellows (8–10 per year): Funded directly by the MFA program, fellows shadow and assist instructors teaching undergraduate courses in First Year Seminar, or MFA faculty teaching Perspectives on the Creative Arts and creative writing courses in the English department. First year MFA students are ineligible for teaching fellowships, and positions are awarded first to MFAs who haven't yet served as a fellow. FYS Fellows are paired with a professor by the FYS director and are paid $1,200 per semester, serving for one year. PCA and creative writing fellows are also paid $1,200 per semester, with an appointment of one semester.

Writers Studio/Peer Tutoring

Graduate Tutors (varies by need): Only open to students who have previous experience working at a university writing center, grad tutors work in the Writers’ Studio, reporting directly to the Director of Peer Tutoring. Writing tutoring is provided to undergraduate students of all majors. All hiring decisions including rate and hours are at the discretion of the Director of Peer Turoring, MFA administration just provides references. 

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available to graduate students through Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Plus Loans, and private loan mechanisms. Graduate students must attend the MFA half-time (3 credit hours or more per semester) to be eligible (please consult with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm such details in your case). Loans are also available for summer study.

Visit the financial aid website for more information. For counseling, please contact Financial Aid at 317-940-8200 or toll free at 877-940-8200.

Health Insurance

For information on health insurance options for Butler graduate students, please contact Butler University Health Services, 317-940-8728.